Paradise wildlife park is situated just off the A10 near to junction 25 of the M25 in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. It is very well signposted with the usual tourist signs and is in a very rural setting. On entry to the park, you travel down through the middle of the park and you may have to stop at a controlled crossing where visitors move between areas. Initial thoughts were how well kept the park was, flowers, no litter and very clean facilities.
Disclaimer: Katie and her family received complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review.
Paradise Wildlife Park is park of ZSH – Zoological society of Hertfordshire, so your entry fee not only pays for the upkeep of the park. But also to raise funds to support wildlife conservation projects both in the UK and around the globe. A very worthwhile charity. Adult tickets cost £17.10 with children at £14.85. Under twos are free and you get a 5% discount for online booking.
World of Dinosaurs at Paradise Wildlife Park
We have been before about four years ago but so much has changed. The biggest and best addition is the new Dinosaur Park. This was truly amazing and the best dinosaurs we have seen at any exhibit. It is the first area you come to as you enter the park so you cannot miss it.
As you enter, you hear the Jurassic Park theme tune and get to go into a “creche” where you see baby dinosaurs hatching from their eggs. You also get an opportunity to put on gloves through a glass tank and touch dinosaur poo – I’m sure if I asked Charlie, this would have been his highlight of the day.
Walking around the dinosaur area, there are background sounds all around you, as well as the sounds of the dinosaurs. As mentioned, these models are amazing, they roar, blink and breathe. The time spent on the tiny details is very apparent.
You can even sit in a land rover and have your photo taken with the T Rex hunting you down – just like in the film! Just when you think you are safe and about to exit the dinosaur enclosure you have to make it past three velociraptors hiding in the bushes – don’t forget to have your selfie with one!
On the way out, you can hatch from an egg, or have a go at being an archaeologist and uncover a T Rex skeleton in the sand. We spent a lot of time in the World of Dinosaurs as we loved it so much.
Animals at the Park
Next, we went to the snake house where you get to crawl under a tunnel and look into the water to see the Anaconda enclosure. We also visited Temple of Aktoe which is a reptile house. Here we saw an alligator and some more snakes – some you had to look very hard for as they were camouflaged and curled up tight into their little safe holes.
Food at Paradise Wildlife Park
After this was time for lunch. We sat and ate at one of the outdoor picnic tables as the weather was lovely. There was also an indoor area where you could buy food, along with a couple of outdoor eateries. Prices were very reasonable, you could buy a toasted sandwich for £5 or a pizza from £8.50. The indoor area even had a bar.
The ice cream stand sold the best fresh doughnuts which we thoroughly recommend! I liked the way the food was all set around the safari stage where during the school holidays they have family shows, including a dance show when we were there – Charlie was delighted as he won some sweets as a prize when dancing to baby shark.
Big cat enclosure was our second favourite part of the park. Our favourites were the White Lions, Tigers and Snow Leopards. We saw the snow leopard being fed meat through the bars as part of an experience day. The lucky person got so close to them, it was amazing to watch and see how gentle they were. Experiences are a big part of the zoo, and you can pay an additional cost to have a unique and memorable experience.
The lions were all very close to the window when we got to their enclosure and they put on a great show for us, play fighting and generally messing around as a pack. We felt very lucky to have witnessed this. There is a café up in the treetops and you can look down to see the Tigers. This is the only place I have been to where you can have this experience as part of your entry fee. The treetop walk in the big cat area is accessible for wheelchairs and buggies. On the ground, we felt very lucky to see the tiger walking around and at one point seemed to connect with Charlie, holding eye contact and speaking (growling) at him.
The proximity you get to the animals is due to their small enclosures which I was a bit sad about. Having been to different zoos including wildlife parks in the past, the space they had were quite restrictive in comparison, but that allows for very close up viewing and thinking of the bigger picture, it’s the conservation and breeding programmes which are important.
We then walked around the penguin enclosure and saw them being fed by the keepers. There are a lot of small penguins in here and it was lovely watching them follow each other around over obstacles and swimming in their pool. You could watch them at ground level, or like a few of the enclosures you could walk up the stairs and look down on them. This area is not buggy friendly, but the ground level viewing is still very good. This are led into the outback trail where you walked in the middle of wallabies and emus with didgeridoo sounds.
Red Pandas were another favourite of ours. They were wandering all-around their enclosure and chasing and playing with each other. You could easily see their beautiful features. The meerkats were also very amusing – you could crawl under a tunnel and appear in the middle of the enclosure and watch them from a different perspective.
Play Area at Paradise Wildlife Park
Our last visit was into the play area. They had created climbing frames and slides out of a fire engine and a pirate ship. You could sit in the fire engine cabin and pretend to drive. The assault course was another of Charlies favourite – it went round the top edge of the play area – lots of wooden equipment to climb over, through or balance on. Once you do it once, try again and time yourself and why not have a family competition to see who is fastest!
There is also a secure area for those with a disability, providing a swing you could use with a wheelchair and other equipment. This was a lovely addition to ensure the play area could be enjoyed by all.
There are a couple of indoor play areas which is perfect if the weather is changeable. As it was a lovely day, we didn’t venture into these and actually ran out of time.
We had a wonderful full day out. The dinosaur park on its own is worth the entry fee, and add the big cat areas and the other animals and the conservation element, it offers a fantastic day out. Thank you for having us.
Why not pin this post for later so you don’t forget to visit.